Monthly Archives: July 2015

Bookmark this – Metropolitan geography data base

If you’ve ever attempted to conduct analyses of your constituency across a geographic area, then you’ve no doubt gained an appreciation for metro city coding.  These numeric identifiers group clusters of city names together into a single designation suitable for counting, sorting or reporting.

Imagine life without city codes.  Let’s say we wanted to count constituents in Houston.  Our work wouldn’t be complete unless we also counted constituents from every single named town in and around Houston, like Kingwood, Spring, The Woodlands, Humble, Sugar Land, Bellaire, Pasadena, Webster, Katy, Pearland, etc.

Talk about craziness!  I can sense we’re in agreement.

 

Anyway, just the other day in my quest to translate a few city code to city names (off-the-cuff) I stumbled upon this great online resource!

tbed

This easy-to-use query tool allows you to drill into a city code to see which townships compose the metro area and it features a simple search bar.

 

tbed is the newest addition to my bookmark folder!  Click on the logo above to give it a try!

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Walk like an egyptian

Awesome cover of everyone’s favorite flashback!

enjoy 🙂

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Survey results – 6th annual fundraising analytics community

The BWF consulting team just compiled results from the 6th annual nonprofit survey on the way our industry is leveraging data analytics.  The survey covers the kinds of projects we perform, the statistical methods used, tools/software used, personnel mix, how we measure value, and staff competency.

While most of us apply analytics for better prospecting, since last year’s survey, there’s been increased interest in pursuing other business challenges like financial forecasting and program performance analysis.

 

bwfsurvey2015

 

The report is very insightful, particularly on the discussion pertaining to analysis methods.  The BWF team appears to believe we, as an industry, could be taking better advantage of addressing some questions that are central to our core business models, vis-a-vis time series analysis.

 

Take a minute to read – just click on the image above.

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We salute you Josh!

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One of my colleagues sent me a note yesterday to share the news that Josh Birkholz received the APRA Visionary award at the international conference going on now in New Orleans, LA.

You are indeed a true visionary leader in our profession, Josh and our chapter extends our warmest congratulations.  We applaud your career accomplishments, those yet to come, and reflect with appreciation how grateful we are to witness the pivotal industry shift you are helping to shape.

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Bookmark this – How America Gives {Interactive}

More of us are tracking constituent and donor densities by state and city in an attempt to better understand concentrations of opportunity, and that’s smart business.

 

But there’s another side to the coin too, what about pockets of human behavior outside of our data bases?  Shouldn’t we maintain some awareness of that too?

 

Yes, we should!  That’s why The Chronicle of Philanthropy publishes “How America Gives.”  And now it’s online too!  At a glance it’s easy to see pockets of population densities where Americans have higher (or lower) than average charitable giving patterns.

howamericagives

 

Drilling into the populations to learn more is simple and the color coding makes it easy to quickly view the cities or counties with the highest giving densities (hovering does the trick).

Click on the image to add this valuable tool to your bookmark inventory!

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Blooming Tuesday – 4 o’clock

This old fashioned flower likes to sleep late and take her time getting ready for the day.  I happen to have these plants in a partially shaded area, so they frequently forget and bloom in the morning anyway.  Meet 4 o’clock.

4oclock

 

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Making the move to research analytics

The business analysis skills mandatory in successful for-profit entities are equally as important for nonprofits. The career jump from prospect research to research analytics is a natural.  That’s why I found this article from STATtr@k so illuminating – 10 tips for entering the analytics career ladder.

 

My favorites are #2: get experience with large real-world data sets, #7: familiarize yourself with the industry, and #10: network. Here’s my own two-cents on these 3 pointers, since the author didn’t approach the article from a nonprofit point of view.

  • Real-world data sets.  Everyone in our profession has access to data, so start exploring!  Count the number of donors last month by gift size, by giving capacity, by state, by age.  Learn more about your data.  If that exercise is too simple, then pose a business question to yourself that is more challenging and solve it!
  • Become familiar with our industry.  Read the online blogs from the top consulting firms, software vendors and services providers to understand the kinds of solutions they are implementing in other organizations.
  • Network.  The Prospect DMM list is a great way to join the conversation and involvement with APRA Greater Houston is an excellent opportunity too.

Click on the image above to read the original article from STATtr@k.

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